Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Right now, Topps is just a one-night stand
Something occurred to me when I was buying that value pack of Topps Chrome the other day.
Because of circumstance and general lack of interest, I go to the card aisle maybe every other week these days. Sometimes less, sometimes more. But on average, every two weeks.
When I'm there, I don't always buy something. Often, I'm just looking. And my pack purchasing of 2013 cards has been limited entirely to "let's see what this is like," the occasional Dodger and potential trade bait.
I am not trying to complete any sets with these purchases. I have no long-term commitment to these cards. When I make a card aisle visit, it's for nothing but a quick thrill. A flurry of wrappers; some oohs and aahs; wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
Now consider what I am planning to do this weekend.
There is a card show scheduled. But it is being held in exact same place as the biggest dirt auto race of the year. People from everywhere will be coming to the Syracuse fairgrounds to watch this race. It's going to be mobbed, loud and filled with everything that makes me want to curl up in a ball.
But I'm planning to go. I'm planning to get up much earlier than I usually do, sacrificing necessary sleep to do so, and sit in as long a traffic jam, park as far away as necessary, walk as long as I have to so I can attend this show.
I'm planning that because not only will it be the first card show I've been to in six months, but because I know what's there. There are cards that I want there. Sets I want to complete. Sets that I've been trying to complete for YEARS
I am committed to those sets. I have a lifelong bond with those sets. Trying to complete a 1972 set is not a fling, it's a committed, long-term relationship.
And that's where I am in collecting right now. That's the difference between today's 2013 sets and the vintage and not-so-vintage sets of yesteryear that I'm trying to complete.
You can blame that on me or blame it on how Topps creates its sets today.
But to me, right now, Topps is just a one-night stand.
(P.S.: Go Pirates)